April 21, 2016 | Marty Hope
Builders expect busy year to continueFull steam ahead for new communities in Calgary
Calgary's residential development sector continues to move dirt, lay down infrastructure and create lots as it responds to current consumer interest and prepares for the inevitable economic turnaround.
Within the city limits are several active new-home communities that continue toward buildout or are adding phases.
"Despite Alberta's current economic challenges, there is still a demand for the homes we build in Calgary and Edmonton," said Jason Palacsko, vice-president of Calgary communities for Brookfield Residential. "We are confident in Calgary's future and are moving forward with major projects."
On Brookfield's books for this year is a pair of inner-city developments — The Henry, a 24-townhouse development in Parkdale, and The Ashford of Altadore with 18 townhouses — along with the massive Livingston community on 144th Avenue and Centre Street North, which is projected to have 10,000 homes at completion and where sales will be launched late this year.
Already up and running are Auburn Bay, Cranston and Cranston Riverstone in the southeast, as well as Symons Gate in the northwest (named New Community of the Year by the Canadian Home Builders' Association – Urban Development Institute Calgary Region Association at its 29th Sales and Marketing Awards).
Hopewell Residential is also expected to keep active this year with Mahogany in the city's southeast, which will include an estimated 12,500 homes when complete.
Its other southeast community, Copperfield, is expected to "see completion of its single-family offering in the next year," but will still have multi-family product to sell, said Scott Hamilton, director of marketing and communications for Hopewell.
The downturn has not impacted Copperfield's timelines. And in Mahogany, where sales continue at a healthy pace, new phases are being developed to "meet continuing demand this year and next," said Hamilton.
Genstar Development Company has four major developments on its plate, including 350 lots in the northwest-Calgary based community of Carrington, the first to be approved under Calgary's new Municipal Development Plan, said general manager Marcello Chiacchia.
"We continue to press forward on our entitlements and development schedules."
Located north of Genstar's Panorama Hills, grading was completed last fall. The initial phase is expected to include 199 lots. Builders have yet to be named.
Chiacchia admits pricing in Carrington may need to be adjusted from year ago levels "due to the downturn and pioneering aspect" of the area.
Other Genstar projects include Savanna, which started in 2015 within the existing northeast community of Saddleridge; Walden in the city's southeast that has just released two new phases; and Shawnee Park in the southwest, a Cardel development that Genstar is managing.
At Qualico Communities, communications manager Maribeth Janikowski said, "we are busier than ever."
The company has three communities active within Calgary: Redstone in the northeast, where work will start on a transit-oriented development site; Dressage in southwest Silverado, where work on the final phase has started; and Evanston in the northwest, where the focus continues to be on providing single-detached homes.
"We were also part of the Glacier Ridge (Calgary north) and Providence (southwest) area structure plans (ASP) that were approved earlier this year... but no construction is likely for a few years," said Janikowski.
Walton Development and Management is continuing its early work on Cornerstone in northeast Calgary.
This year, Walton will move ahead with the first phase of approximately 880 single-family lots, and is planning a grand opening this fall to introduce show homes, said Kendra Milne, vice-president of marketing for the company.
"Cornerstone spans about 1,100 acres and will significantly and positively impact the landscape of the far northeast quadrant of Calgary," she added.
While Mattamy Homes continues work on its ongoing northeast development of Cityscape, it is also in preparation mode for two new areas: its portion of Carrington in the city's northwest with 3,600 lots, and its part of Yorkville in the southwest where another 3,200 are planned.
"Certainly, sales have been more stubborn of late, but we continue to press forward on our entitlements and development schedules," said Don Barrineau, president of Mattamy Homes' Calgary division.
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